Family, Friends, Food, Credit Card Debt, Guilt, and Resentment

While there never has been a “war on Christmas” there has been plenty of debate among Christian sects as to its “true meaning.” There is, of course, no mention of the holiday in scripture and the two birth narratives in the gospels tell such different stories that we can be thankful that they at least agree on the name of the baby. But if we allow ourselves to ask our modern culture that it really means, beyond the shopping, gift giving, and requisite office parties, the culture, from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and Hollywood’s classics, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and “A Miracle on 42ndSt.,” it would seem that the true meaning of Christmas is a change in an individual’s heart from being cold, distant, and unloving into something more loving, joyful, and generous. That’s a conversion narrative that isn’t especially religious and, with Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, I will say, “God bless it!”

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Dr. Roger L. Ray
pastor, The Emerging Church

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